WICHITA — Four-time champions are a rare breed, but Gardner Edgerton senior Danie Plank completed a career sweep in the javelin Saturday at the Kansas state track and field championships by winning the Class 6A girls crown for the second straight season.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Plank, who popped her elbow on a throw in the preliminaries, opened finals with a throw of 146 feet, 9 inches, which stood up as the winning mark by 4 inches.
“I kind of wanted to cry after I won, but I held it in,” said Plank, who won Class 5A titles as a freshman and sophomore. “It hasn’t completely sunk in yet. It feels awesome to win, but I don’t think it has set in yet that this was it. I don’t get to come back next year like I had every other time.”
Olathe East junior Jasmine Thomas will be back — and with two championships to defend. She repeated as the Class 6A girls 100-meter champion (12.24) and won the 200 (26.64).
“I’m so happy I did it,” said Thomas, who fell in the 200 final as a sophomore. “During the 200, I kind of had a flashback to last year, but I told myself to keep going this time.”
Meanwhile, Hawks junior Kelsey Quiring, who was the runner-up behind SM West star Alli Cash last season, won the 800 (2:21.47), but Olathe East’s run of five straight championships came to an end primarily because of Lawrence Free State junior Alexa Harmon-Thomas.
Harmon-Thomas, who won the long jump and finished second in the high jump Friday, won the 100 hurdles in a wind-aided time of 14.11 and later tied the state-meet record in the 300 hurdles (42.70).
“I’m so happy with this weekend, especially after how the last state meet went,” said Harmon-Thomas, who won two events at state as a freshman but didn’t win any events as a sophomore. “All I thought about all season is getting to the state meet and proving how well I can perform.”
Harmon-Thomas was responsible for 38 of the Firebirds’ 94 team points, which was enough to depose Olathe East (81.50).
Maranatha girls repeat
Behind triple gold medalist Caroline Bingham, Maranatha Academy won its second straight Class 2A championship.
Bingham, a sophomore, won a second straight 400 title (58.41) and also added gold medals in the 100 (12.38) and 200 (27.10).
“I’ve been blessed today,” Bingham said. “It’s been a good weekend.”
Fellow sophomore Lauren Harrell outkicked Wichita County senior Paige Wells at the finish line to win the 1,600 by 0.03 seconds (5:19.77).
“I just knew I had to give it all I’ve got to catch the girl in first, so I pushed myself as hard as I could,” Harrell said.
Harrell and fellow sophomores Katherine Smith, Taylor Morrow and Hope Manning won the 3200 relay (9:50.9), while Harrell, Smith, Manning and Bingham won the 1,600 relay (4:08.77).
Meanwhile, Maranatha’s boys — senior Caleb Henderson, juniors Jensen Lemmon and Briar Belcher and freshman Tabor Belcher — won the 3,200 relay (3:29.79).
Thunder girls No. 1
St. James Academy’s girls won only one event, but the Thunder’s depth paved the way to 5A team crown.
Senior Emily Tripp and juniors Bristol Lewis, Arianna Person and Brianna Lewis combined to win the 1,600 relay (4:03.93).
Meanwhile, St. James boys — seniors John Carter Briethaupt, Tanner Hinderliter and John Scherschlight with junior Ian Jones — won the 3,200 relay (7:56.37).
• Osawatomie senior Tayler Soucie won the 4A girls 100 hurdles (15.12) and 300 hurdles (45.81).
• SM Northwest senior Jackson Barbour won the 6A boys 800 (1:54.81) and helped the Cougars’ 3200 relay — including fellow seniors Kirk Bado, Clayton Henderson and Connor Kelley — strike gold as well (7:59.43).
• Olathe East’s boys — juniors Kyle Evans, Nick Hinrichs, Braxton Love and Parker Evans — won the 6A boys 1,600 relay (3:22.90).
• Olathe South junior Braden Smith blew away the field by 13-2 in the discus with three throws longer than 180 feet, including the winning mark of 188-0.
• Smith’s Falcons teammate, sophomore Tanner Green, out-leaned Topeka High senior Dukiya Tibbs at the finish line in the 6A boys 200 (22.40), and also helped the 400 relay to the title along with seniors Aaron Thacker and Chris Coleman and junior Dresden Wilbur (42.41).
• BV Northwest junior Sam Guinn held off Blue Valley senior Colton Donahue for the gold in the 6A boys 1,600. Guinn finished in 4:19.87 and won by 0.05 seconds.
• BV North senior Chris Cusick overcame windy conditions to clear 14 feet, 6 inches in the 6A boys pole vault — a mark nobody else could match.
• SM East senior Emma Vickers led wire-to-wire in winning the 6A girls 400 (56.83), while SM South senior Jake Caldwell won the 6A boys 400 (48.68).
• Lawrence Free State junior Bailey Sullivan won the 6A girls 1,600 (5:12.29), passing Manhattan junior Alaina Schroeder on the final straightaway.
• Lawrence sophomore Matia Finley won the 6A girls discus on her final throw (139-11), knocking her twin sister, Rebecca, down to second place (135-7), while the Lions’ girls — sophomores Leah Gabler, Marissa Pope and Jensen Edwards with freshman Kyleigh Severa — won the 1600 relay (4:02.57).
• Leavenworth junior John Warren crushed the field in a wind-aided 5A boys triple jump (50-101/4), while the Pioneers’ girls — seniors Rebekah Covington, Skye Childs and Rashayla Mathis with sophomore Daysha Thomas — won the 400 relay (48.84).
• SM North senior Henry Bell won the 6A boys 100 (10.79).
• Paola junior Andrew Henn won the 4A boys javelin (191-5), while the Panthers’ girls — seniors Amanda Hedges and Kaylee Farmer, junior Lauren Frederick and sophomore Rebecca Wright — won the 3,200 relay (9:42.50).
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.